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Panthers overcome foul trouble to beat Blazers

January 19, 2008|By JACK HILL III

HANCOCK - Despite having four players foul out, the Hancock girls basketball team held off Clear Spring's rally for a 33-32 victory Friday night.

Hancock (5-8) led 22-9 at halftime, with junior forward Shawnda Wills nailing a 3-pointer right before the buzzer.

The Panthers took their biggest lead at 24-9 on Wills' basket 1:06 into the third.

The Blazers (2-9) chopped the lead down to 29-22 at the end of the third quarter and cut it to 31-30 with 1:03 remaining in the fourth when Sarah Dice made the second of her two foul shots.

Clear Spring got the ball back about 30 seconds later. Dice dribbled down the court before Hancock's Beth Bowman knocked the ball away. Dice and Bowman went after the loose ball near the sideline and collided with 26 seconds left. A foul was called on Dice and Bowman went to the foul line for a 1-and-1 situation. Bowman made both shots to extend the Panthers' lead to 33-30.

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Lindsay Trumpower scored off an offensive rebound to help Clear Spring trim the margin to 33-32 with two seconds left. Hancock threw the ball in to Wills and she ran out the final seconds.

Wills had team-high totals of seven points and nine rebounds. Karly Logsdon also had nine rebounds and Chelsea Stigile added six rebounds for the Panthers.

"It was a very hard-fought victory; I can tell you that," Hancock coach Rocky Wills said. "I think the key to the victory was not giving up. The bench came through for us. ... Our kids showed a lot of heart tonight."

Paige Shirk had game-high totals of nine points, 18 rebounds and five blocks for Clear Spring. Andrea Baum pulled down 13 rebounds, while Elizabeth Debold and Hannah House grabbed seven rebounds each. Dice made seven steals and Trumpower had four steals.

"Our defense tonight was the best that it has been all year," Clear Spring coach Greg Henry said. "We just went with a man-to-man defense and it created steals."

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